Hello, everyone, my name is Dr Jaya Ravindran. I am 47 years of age and was an arthritis doctor by trade. I live with my wife and daughter in Warwickshire in the U.K.
I was diagnosed with acute T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukaemia in October 2014. I had intensive chemotherapy and maintenance chemotherapy until October 2016 which resulted in remission. I had complications including bleeding in the brain, admission to intensive care for infection and also pneumonia. The transition of becoming a patient from being a doctor had its many challenges too. However, the dignity, stoicism and courage of my fellow patients and the care, professionalism and sensitivity of the healthcare professionals was truly inspiring.
However, I relapsed in November 2016. I received further chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in April 2017.
I have been writing poetry since my university days, and, faced with these new challenges I began compiling a poetry book to share some of my experiences: both good and bad. I have long harboured a desire to publish this book of poems and reflections as I face this journey through cancer.
This summer in August 2017 I received the devastating news that, in spite of an initially positive prognosis, I had once again relapsed. I have now started a new specific treatment for patients with my condition. The haematology team have applied and been successful in getting funding from the drug company’s compassionate funding programme/scheme for some specific chemotherapy to improve my survival, for which I am extremely grateful.
As the father of a young daughter, I do not feel ready to give up my fight. The haematology teams, family and friends have given me hope, positivity, and vitality. My story does not feel written yet: it is with renewed purpose I find myself in a position to give hope to others with my disease through publishing my book of poetry and reflections of a doctor-as-patient, and I would like to raise funds for this undertaking to donate to two charities and for my daughter’s future.
Introducing Project Hope
My request for funding is to give me the opportunity to pass on the baton of love, gratitude and hope to all I know and to establish a legacy. The charities I have chosen are for the blood cancer research charity Bloodwise and towards the bone marrow transplant charity the Anthony Nolan trust – both of which do incredible work. My aim is also to raise awareness of the national bone marrow register – which few people realise requires little more than a mouth swab to join – particularly among ethnic groups where potential donors are underrepresented.
As a doctor and now a patient I encourage everyone to join the bone marrow register and give hope to others. I still feel deeply about continuing to help my fellow patients. Please support me in this venture through a donation via JustGiving, and in return, you will receive a beautifully bound copy of my poems and reflections. The book is a gift and token of our appreciation. Thank you all for your time and support.
Kind regards, Jaya.